Soup. It’s not the most exciting menu item. Don’t get us wrong, there’s nothing wrong with a bowl of fire-roasted tomato or a cup of split pea. But it can be tough to get really excited about it.
That is, until you add noodles. Carby, chewy, comforting noodles. Be it strands of vermicelli, short spirals of fusilli, or thick and wheaty udon, add noodles to an otherwise unexceptional soup, and they’ll make it unforgettable—especially in colder months, when the only kind of food you want to consume is the piping hot, soul-satisfying stuff. These 21 noodle soups fit the bill.
You won’t find vegetarian pho so easily on the streets of Hanoi, but that’s the beauty of making it at home—you can customize it to your dietary preferences. With cinnamon, anise, and cloves in the broth, and plenty of rice noodles, this recipe is still impressive without the meat.
Aside from their meaty texture, mushrooms have an umami taste that seems tailor-made for soups. Here, both the shitake and white button varieties make an appearance, lending their unique flavor profiles to the earthy blend of soy, sesame, soba noodles, and ginger. It’s incredibly light but incredibly satisfying.
A take on the traditional Persian ash-e reshteh, this hearty bowl is proof that vegetarian food can be as satisfying as any meaty competitor. French lentils, chickpeas, and whole-wheat linguine add tons of substance. Meanwhile, Greek yogurt stirred into the broth adds a rich and creamy consistency, and lots of fresh dill, cilantro, and lemon brighten up the flavors. You’ll be full and happy for hours.
The traditional Thai dry noodle dish is just as tasty in soup form! This version of pad Thai also goes the extra mile with some healthy adaptations, including brown rice noodles for extra fiber, baked tofu for some healthy protein, and less sugar than your average recipe.
Leave the buttery broths and egg-topped bowls at the restaurants and let this totally plant-based, homemade ramen recipe hit the spot instead. Miso, ginger, and garlic add tons of flavor to the oil-free soup without the need for the standard seasoning packets, while preservative-free ramen noodles keep things wholesome.
Chicken soup is restorative in itself, but in this recipe, whole-grain fusilli pasta and anti-inflammatory leeks and onions make it even more nourishing. Even if you aren’t under the weather, a bowl of this is bound to make you feel better.
Kick any impending flu bugs to the curb with this immunity-boosting ginger and garlic miso broth. Brimming with thick, chewy udon noodles and slightly spicy pan-fried tofu, it isn’t just healthy, it’s a party of textures and flavors too.
Given that stroganoff already comes with a sauce, it isn’t so far-fetched to turn it into soup, with the noodles stirred in instead of sitting at the bottom. However, this recipe adds an extra twist, making the traditionally beef-based dish vegan with mushrooms instead of meat, coconut milk instead of sour cream, and eggless noodles. It’s more heart-healthy but just as tasty.
It may seem unusual for a stew spiced with curry powder and cayenne to be paired with udon noodles, but the combo is a favorite in Japan, where the dish originated. Large chunks of potato and carrots are also part of the gravy, making this thick soup a one-pot meal that’s sure to warm you right up on a cold evening.
It may not be 100-percent traditional, but that doesn’t make this noodle soup any less slurp-worthy. Spicy sambal oelek paste takes care of the “hot,” while a generous squeeze of lime juice fulfills the “sour” requirement. It’s plenty satisfying with the veggies and rice noodles, but for a protein punch, feel free to add shrimp or tofu.
Packed with protein, cheesy goodness, and blanket-like sheets of noodles, this lasagna soup is bound to be a hit. It’s a hearty, comforting meal that doesn’t compromise on nutrition and doesn’t require you to spend time putting the layers together. Who has time for that?
Miso soup doesn’t usually contain much other than seaweed and tofu, but this recipe makes it the base of a much more substantial meal. You’d be hard-pressed to feel anything other than damn good after a serving of this gut-aiding broth filled with green veggies, edamame, and soba noodles.
Whether you’re gluten-free, grain-free, Paleo, or on the Whole30, there’s no reason you should miss out on noodle soup fun. Simply use spiralized zucchini, like this recipe does, to create the same effect. Here, they’re submerged in a savory, vinegary broth swirled with wispy strands of beaten egg.
Coconut milk and laksa paste (easily found in stores these days) help this curry-like Peranakan soup come together in no time. Quick-cooking rice noodles absorb the rich broth, while carrot and zucchini ribbons stay just crisp enough. What's that you said about a sad desk lunch?
On a particularly stressful day, tuck into this vegetarian version of chicken noodle soup. The chickpeas are full of tryptophan, an amino acid known to produce mood-boosting serotonin, while the brown rice noodles offer feel-good carbs. Enjoy all the smiles this bowl of soup brings you.
Mexican night at home doesn’t have to be just tacos and burrito bowls. Flavored with garlic and onion, bulked up with vermicelli noodles, and topped with crumbled queso fresco and diced avocado, this twist on tortilla soup offers a lighter alternative that’s just as satisfying.
If you’re looking for a total texture explosion, this fish and veggie noodle soup gets it right. The broccoli and salmon are browned beforehand so that a crispy crust can form on both before they’re tossed into the broth with flat, chewy rice noodles—and it all takes less than 20 minutes to do.
You’d never look at that soup and say that there isn’t a drop of cream in it, but it’s true—that rich texture actually comes from a roux of low-fat milk and flour. Toss in the veggies of your choice and some broken strands of linguine, and you’ve got yourself a homemade meal that’s healthier than anything that comes out of a can.
Ribollita is a Tuscan soup that’s usually made with bread, but this variation opts for pasta instead. Meant to use up leftovers, it’s a flexible dish as far as veggies go, so throw in anything you have on hand, but don’t leave out the onion, carrots, celery, or cannellini beans to keep the authentic flavors intact.
Treat your taste buds to this authentic Polish chicken noodle soup, no airfare required. All you need is some bay leaves and allspice berries to get the broth just right, and about 50 minutes to let the flavors of the soup and the meat really marinate together. It’s worth the wait, we promise!
If spaghetti and meatballs weren’t enough to satisfy your craving for comfort food, turning them into a piping hot soup might just do the trick. Not only does the slurpable factor add another dimension of fun to the dish, but with lean turkey meatballs and a lighter hand on the cheese, this is actually healthier than your average beefed-up pasta.